The present study was to investigate the inhibitory effect and underlying mechanism of Tormentic acid (TA) on hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). HSC-T6 cells were stimulated with Platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) and TA, and then cell proliferation, apoptosis, inflammatory factor, and collagen-related indicators were detected. In order to elucidate the potential mechanism, the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and NF-κB signalling pathways were also detected. The results showed that TA treatment markedly inhibited PDGF-BB-stimulated HSC-T6 cell activation, as evidenced by the inhibition of cell proliferation, migration and colony formation, as well as the decreased expression of TGF-β and α-SMA. TA treatment caused a significant increase in the activity of lactate dehydrogenase and significantly promoted cell apoptosis. TA treatment significantly reduced aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and total bilirubin activity. Importantly, TA inhibited the expression of collagen type I and III, alleviating the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM). Further experiments showed that TA administration significantly inhibited the phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt, FAK and mTOR and the protein expression of P70S6K, indicating the inhibition of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway. Moreover, treatment with TA markedly decreased the phosphorylation of IκBα, NF-κB p65 and IKKα/β, thereby blocking the NF-κB signal transduction. In summary, this study demonstrates that TA significantly inhibits HSC activation and promotes cell apoptosis via the inhibition of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and NF-κB signalling pathways. Significance of the study: Tormentic acid (TA) could inhibit HSC activation and alleviate collagen-based ECM deposition, suggesting that TA exerted anti-hepatic fibrosis. Further mechanism research revealed that the inhibition of TA on HSC activation might be through blocking the PI3K/Akt/mTOR and NF-κB signalling pathways. These findings provided a new cue to understand the protective effect of TA against liver fibrosis, which may provide a potential nature medicine for the treatment of liver fibrosis.